Hey everyone, welcome back to Serenity in The Spirit! This is the second and final post related to our word for January: Faithfulness. Last time, we spoke about how God is faithful to us by nature. We saw that the Bible has multiple examples of His faithfulness even when we don't deserve it and because of this, we can take comfort in His promises to us. Today, I want to look at how we can be faithful to God.
Let's define faithfulness again: according to Google, being faithful as 'remaining loyal and steadfast'. As we spoke about a couple of weeks ago, being faithful is commonly associated with romantic relationships but what does this look like in terms of our relationship with God in every day life? Below I'll discuss 3 ways that aren't particularly revolutionary but I will also mention a few practical things we can do to improve in these areas.
First, let's talk about prayer. Despite the busyness of our lives and all the alternative ways we can spend our time - some of them not even inherently bad things - we should be making prayer and conversation with God a priority. Imagine being in a relationship with someone who barely made an effort to speak with you and spend time with you, most of us would question their loyalty and seek to understand what is keeping them so busy. If we are not prioritising speaking with God, there is something else that has taken our attention. Where do your loyalties lie? Is it with keeping in communication with God as a priority or is it elsewhere? This communication is key to having a relationship that the devil finds harder to break (Ephesians 4:27). The Bible tells us to pray 'steadfastly' (Colossians 4:2 ESV), another word used to describe someone who is faithful and this means conscientiously and regularly without fail. If you struggle to pray regularly, try beginning by linking prayer with a regular activity you do e.g. brushing your teeth or showering. Use those moments to speak with God, tell Him about your plans for the day, your desires for the future or anything else that comes to mind. You could also try partnering with a friend to pray over the phone for accountability and to encourage each other.
We must also be faithful in reading the Word. This is because it enables us to be the best versions of ourselves we can be by being clued up on who God is (John 1:1), what He says (2 Timothy 3:16) and how we should live according to the example of the perfect human, Jesus. The Bible is like bread, it is the food of our Spirit which means our Spirit cannot grow without it. If we were to stop regularly eating food, our bodies would suffer and it's the same with our Spirit. If you are waiting for God to speak to you about something, His Word is a great place to seek Him. Most of us want God to use us, but if we do not understand what His will is or even who He has created us to be, we will fall short of our potential. If this is something you struggle with, first and foremost you should pray to ask God for a stronger desire to read His word. If you find it boring, be honest and ask for Him to change your heart in this area. You can also ask for the Spirit to read with you and for fresh revelation even if you are reading something you have read 999 times before. You could also try joining/creating a bible study with friends for accountability and/or using a Bible plan on the YouVersion Bible app for a more structured and focused study.
Thirdly, lets look at being faithful to God's desire for our lives. We know God created us for Himself (Colossians 1:16) for us to do good works (Ephesians 2:10) for His glory (1 Corinthians 10:31). But do our actions, words and thoughts reflect this? I'm not sure any of us could say yes 100% of the time but how do we work at changing that? As mentioned above, praying and reading our Bibles are a couple of ways but it is also important to consider where we take our influence from both consciously and subconsciously. If we are not faithful to God's desires for and commands to how we should live and we sometimes 'cheat' on God's will by choosing an alternative, we are not being loyal to God. As mentioned on this blog before, we must be mindful of the content we consume whether that be in books, TV, social media, films and even music as these are what motivates our actions, words and thoughts. By not filling our minds with the content that goes against God's Word, we are able to focus on what is true, honourable and just... (Philippians 4:8). When you are listening to a song or reading a book, question whether what you are taking in glorifies God or is in line with His word. Pray for God to protect you from the subliminal messages in the everyday content we consume (including 'unbiased' news reports, videos of people who are 'woke' etc.).
Finally, I would also like to focus on a literal meaning of the word 'faithful'... full of faith. If we are full of faith, it means we trust God to do all the things we know He is able to do through reading His word and experiencing Him in our lives. Being full of faith is easier said than done as it requires us to step out in uncertainty where we cannot necessarily see the outcome (Hebrews 11:1). So how do we become faithful in this way? Galatians 5:22 tells us that it is a fruit of His Spirit. We can grow the Spirit inside of us by the above actions (prayer, reading the Bible and focusing on truth) as well as other ways such as fasting, listening to encouraging, biblical sermons and seeking wise counsel.
Thank you for reading, and I hope that these practical ways to be faithful to God are an encouragement to you. Pick one or two of things to focus on this week whether that be praying daily, reading daily or removing a particular music artist from your playlist. Being faithful is a daily decision and a continuous journey that we are on until the day we die. Take it one step at a time and chase the desire to hear God say to you 'well done my good and faithful servant'.
Song of the Post: I Give Myself Away - William McDowell